1. A situationist skinhead is a skinhead who engages in the construction of situations. This means the construction of concrete momentary ambiances of life and their transformation into a passionate and superior quality based on the principle of a permanent revolution of every day existence, from which, several of the principles below evoke a number of observations linked to the study of the situationist skinhead in his/her natural environment. If s/he realizes it by reading this, all skinheads can become situationists. All situationists can become skinheads for the same reasons, but not from one day to the next. As we know, even if all roads lead out of Babylon, the situationist hacienda will not be built in a single day but will in fact be a project of ongoing transformation. An intense cultural curiosity is necessary and must be accompanied by the sensation of a quasi-orgasmic osmosis, an effect well appreciated by situationist skinheads due to their enjoyment of skinhead reggae. Let’s state with candour that an authentic situationist skinhead, regardless of the way s/he first became involved in beating down Babylon, will recognize him/herself in what follows. In fact, a true situationist skinhead won’t care much for this manifesto because it is something they will want to move on from. A dyed-in-the-wool situationist skinhead is suspicious of manifestos, of anythings fixed, and thus this text is is 100% dispersible but nonetheless necessary. This manifesto does not prescribe; it dissects the situationist skinhead so that s/he might renew his/her attack on the Babylon, and finally destroy the false idols of capitalism.
2. The situationist skinhead is above all else working class by filiation or affiliation. Whether s/he is employed, working or not, whether his/her work is artistic, salaried, illegal or not, the situationist skinhead identifies with all attempts of his/her class to create a new, emancipatory and revolutionary situation. The situationist skinhead loves strikes and knows of nothing better than a good factory occupation.
3. The situationist skinhead absolutely rejects all isms –and for that reason all definitions of so-called “situationism” or “skinheadism”- which are nothing more than revisionist and reductive transformations of his/her culture into sterile stereotypes, and thus another reactionary set of doctrines. Therefore, s/he escapes all reifications and refuses to become invisible in the manner profit and bureaucracy demand. The situationist skinhead rejects authoritarian so-called “communism”, since all Bolshevik and Maoist regimes were in reality capitalist states. Isms are the instruments by which the dominant society transforms the proletariat’s endless reforging of the passage between theory and practice into doctrines. Thus certain “thinkers” define “anarchism” and thereby reduce its possibilities to the reproduction of individualist and western consumerist patterns of behaviour and thought. The situationist skinhead does not wish to replace one reductive system with another. S/he will destroy false representations or will be destroyed by them.
4 . The situationist skinhead has no leaders (not even Joe Hawkins); he is not a Marxist – indeed, Marx himself was the first person to deny he was a Marxist. The situationist skinhead is not a Leninist, Trotskyst, Guevarist or Buddhist either; and most emphatically not a Castrist or Maoist. S/he does not raise statues, temples or churches and does not put corpses in mausoleums. S/he says let the dead bury their dead while we blaze a trail to new modes of being. In brief, s/he does not idolize, does not pray, does not implore and does not even ask but takes what is his/hers as a member of the class that will abolish all classes.
5. The situationist skinhead stresses that the fundamental characteristic of this society is its division into classes. Therefore s/he is skeptical of the perfidious attempts of the ruling class (the bourgeoisie) to recuperate her uncontrolled rebellion. The situationist skinhead rejects the trajectory of petty bourgeois mods, or worse, that of those former revolutionaries who landed jobs in academies, whose writings are now studied by postgraduate students and recuperated by his/her enemy the bobo (aka “bohemian bourgeois”). For the contemporary situationist skinhead, this rank breed of socialite recyclers is far worse enemy than its ancestor, the baba cool (hippie). The bobo recuperation of elements of skinhead culture (shaved head and Dr. Martens), an attempt to “hipsterfy” a sterile vision of the world, has a far more deleterious effect than the baba who merely took drugs and attempted to withdraw from the material realities of capitalist exploitation.
6. The situationist skinhead rejects cults such as the “spirit of 69″ because, aside from rejecting all nostalgia, s/he knows that the skinhead movement, as a youth rebellion against the ruling order, is demographically much older today than during those years (but then we follow Isidore Isou in seeing youth as essentially a function of social position rather than age). Nevertheless, the situationist skinhead still refers to “the spirit of 69″ since it expresses the triolectical nature of his/her movement. To that effect, and leaving aside the delights of this egalitarian sexual position, the number 69 expresses the contradictions and semantic inversions that characterise the situationist skinhead. Let’s note that Sham 69 are and remain one of the seminal bands of situationist skinheads, since they helped purge punk rock of its socialite hangers-on. Furthermore, 1969 was marked by some of the most enthralling rhythms of skinhead reggae, including the mighty Liquidator. Likewise, in 69 the last issue of the Internationale Situationsite review appeared.
Communiqué of the International Situationist Skinhead, Combative Cell Yul Brynner In Sta-Prest
As far as I can tell this first appeared as a printed text around 2002 and can now also be found as a comment to a post on the L’En Dehors blog (scroll down to find it). Translated and adapted into English, there were a couple of points I wasn’t in complete agreement with in this section, so I modified them (I still don’t agree with everything here). This represents roughly 25% of the French language manifesto, I may or may not run more of it on future blogs. You can always go read the whole thing in French! I’m not in complete agreement with everything in the rest of this either, but it is amusing and curious, so I thought it more than worth running an adapted part of it here.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!